Kate Lawler first appeared on our screens in Big Brother in 2002. Since then her career has evolved and she's become well-known as a TV presenter, model, DJ and for her weekday show on Kerrang! Radio as she takes charge of the Drive! show. Regular listeners will have heard her talk about her her beloved Baxter and new family member, Kevin.
K9 Magazine caught up with Kate to find out much more about two of the main men in her life.
Tell us about your dogs - we'd like to know everything about them!
I have two dogs, Baxter and Kevin. Baxter is a Border Terrier who turns 1 on the 2nd of November. My boyfriend, Adam, and I decided to get a dog and initially I wanted a Westie and Adam wanted a Boxer. We were set on these breeds mainly because my parents had a Westie and I'd always said when I get a dog I'll have a Westie and Adam had the same experience with Boxers. So we had to settle somewhere in the middle and we decided on a Border Terrier.
I've always loved Border Terriers and they have a great personality. We watched so many videos of Border Terriers on Youtube. Plus, they look like old men with their beards and funny faces.
So we got Baxter and he's just a bundle of joy, but a lunatic at the same time. He does everything at 100mph and he's so clever. He was toilet trained and learned training commands so quickly. The one thing we want to work on is stopping him jumping up really.
He's really friendly and just gets really excited. I think because we don't stop him when we get home from work and he jumps up to see us saying 'oh my god I'm so happy to see you' he thinks it's ok to do it anywhere so we're working on that.
He's also really fussy with food. He'll leave his food until night time just to see if there's any better food coming like roast chicken or tuna, once he knows there's not, he'll go and eat his own food.
He's just so playful and because we work we decided we'd get a playmate for him. We always knew we'd get another dog, but thought we'd wait until we moved but when we were walking in the park we met this lady, Val, and her dogs. Baxter always played with Kevin and so they were friends anyway. She'd only had him a few weeks and I mentioned that we were thinking about getting another dog and she asked if we were serious because she was going to rehome Kevin because he was too boisterous. She had two other dogs and they were all lapdogs really so very chilled.
Kevin's a really cute teacup Yorkie so I spoke to Adam about it and so we decided to take him in. We knew Baxter got on with him when they were out and about so we said we'd try for a week so we could make sure they got on at home and they've become the best of mates. They share everything, they sleep together, they share a bed, Baxter even cleans him every morning. They really get on so well.
Kevin was a rescue found in a garden by Val's dog groomer and that's how he ended up with her when she took him in but we think before that he had a pretty hard life living outside. He's a really timid boy, he likes to snuggle up with us and he's so chilled.
We think he's had about four names so far, but he's responding well to Kevin, he's so well behaved. We're just really glad the boys both get on so well.
He's not yet properly toilet trained, we think that's because he lived outside, but he's getting there. He went to our vets last week for a check up and she doesn't think he's older than 5-6 months but he's fit and healthy.
I did worry at first that we might not bond as much with Kevin because we love Baxter so much, you worry how you can love another dog as much, but speaking to other friends who own dogs they said it's pretty normal and as the days went on in his first week of living with us, we grew so fond of him we couldn't imagine him not being here.
When did your interest in pets/animals begin and how long have you been a pet owner?
We owned a family dog when I was growing up, Charlie, he's a Westie and lives at home with my parents. He's such a nice dog, I always said if I got a dog I'd want a Westie because of him.
I did buy a dog about five years ago, a Westie and left him with the people I bought him from while I was on holiday because he was due to have his injections. It was really sad, while I was away I got the call he'd not responded well and then another call the next morning to say he passed away.
I was really gutted, so sad but I left it a while and eventually had to think, well ok maybe it's just not meant to be.
You first shot to fame through Big Brother but are most known now for your DJ work around the country and your daily radio show on Kerrang! Radio in the West Midlands. You must have some great perks of the job – what do you love most about your job?
I love it. I get so much freedom with the show, I love the music. We play mostly rock or indie music, it's a really niche station and I get to play songs from my favourite bands.
The timeslot is a bit of a touch aswell! I used to do the breakfast show and had seriously early mornings, but being on the Drivetime! Show I get in for 1pm, back for 7pm, so the hours are cushty.
I love the freedom, my producer is amazing and we have live bands playing in the studio all the time aswell. Plus I love to talk, talk, talk so it's perfect.
The Stone Roses have recently announced their comeback tour. Which band would you most love to see make a come back?
I know – it's so exciting! Well, it's not so much a comeback in the sense of The Stone Roses but I'd love to see the Stereophonics make a new album. They've not had one for a few years and I saw them at a festival last year and they were amazing.
I've heard The Verve might also be coming back. They've never hit the heights of Urban Hymns again, but I'd love to see what they do and see them try.
Does Baxter ever get to come into the studio with you?
He did once as a puppy and he poo'd under the boss' desk. He was then told he was never coming in again, I did try and say he's only a puppy when he's properly toilet trained it won't happen again – but that didn't change his mind sadly.
He did also once go to work with Adam. He's an account manager for a carpets and rugs firm and while he was with him he went out with him to see a client and went to the toilet on the most expensive rug there so I think he's much happier at home. Maybe he wasn't destined to come to work with us!
Big Brother is on our screens again now, do you think it's still the same show at it's core that it was when you were in it, or do you think it's lost it's innocence almost with those who appear on it knowing much more about how it works?
I think Big Brother is always going to have it's core fan base, but it's a bit like some food, or a relationship, at first it's amazing, but it's not always going to stay that way necessarily.
The viewing figures speak for themselves really. Like I say it'll always have it's core fan base but I think it's become too predictable. At first it was very natural as the social experiment it was set up originally to be now people know what it is, the relationships are not as real and I think it's still good, but for me it'll never be what it was.
Do you have a motto that you live your life by? What would you say Baxter and Kevin's motto might be?
I don't have a motto really but I'm big into music and like quotes about music or from the lyrics. I do like Winston Churchill's quote 'when you're going through hell, keep going'. If I'm ever feeling a bit sorry for myself thinking about others in worse off situations makes me pull myself together pretty quick and think whatever it is that's on my mind, actually I'm pretty lucky.
I'm not sure what Baxter's motto would be be, it would probably be something like 'take what you can'. It would be connected with food!
If you were to swap roles with Baxter for a day, how do you think he'd cope being you and what would you most love about being him?
(Laughs) I would love to know what he thinks. I'd love the daily walks, we're pretty close to somewhere called Cannon Hill and it's huge, honestly I never knew a park could be so big. It's really nice, there's a big lake and a big park. I'd really enjoy that if I were him. I'd also like to know what he thinks when he sees the regular friends he sees and meets up with.
I'd also be really keen to know that he's happy in his bed, he sleeps in a crate with a really comfy bed inside and a blanket over the top. I sometimes feel guilty when I'm so snuggled up wondering if he is aswell. People see it and say it looks really snuggly, but I'd really just like to know what he thinks.
I think Baxter would struggle as me, especially at work. My studio is like a glass fishbowl, he'd struggle being in there for the hours I am. He'd also really hate my diet. I'm quite healthy and he likes his food!
For this question, we ask our celebs to match up the following people’s personality to a breed of dog, for example, Winston Churchill = Bulldog or J.Lo = Afghan Hound, Frank Bruno = Boxer etc. If the following celebrities and dog lovers were breeds of dogs, based on their personalities alone, what type of breed do you think they'd be...
Alice Cooper – (Laughs) Brilliant! I think he'd be a Jack Russell Terrier. I've seen loads of white ones with black patches around their eyes like he has when he's in make up. He's also quite shouty when on stage and if I'm honest does scare me a bit!
Courtney Love – Ohhh, well she likes to wear quite a lot of make up doesn't she and can be a bit of a mess sometimes. I think maybe an Old English Sheepdog because their hair falls over their faces.
Brian Dowling – (Laughs) Well, I think he'd be a Poodle. They can be a bit camp can't they when they're all done up with the proper grooming session and puff on their tail. They also have a bit of a camp trot don't they and Brian has his own walk.
Ian Brown – I think he has a bit of Pug face. They're quite a chilled breed and he's known to be a bit of a stoner isn't he. They don't need a lot of exercise do they, so I think that would suit him.
Describe the last time you laughed outloud because of something you saw Baxter and Kevin, or another dog do.
I shouldn't laugh really, but while we were at a hotel recently when we stayed in Brighton. We walked in the room and it was a really beautiful suite and I thought 'oh wooden floors, brilliant, we can then just wipe up if Kevin has an accident'. As soon as the door closed behind the guy who had shown us up Kevin went straight to the toilet. I shouldn't have laughed, but it was just the timing.
Baxter is always doing funny little things but probably the funniest is his fear of coffee mugs. If we're having a coffee in bed in the morning, and you sort of move one of the mugs toward Baxter his tail wags and he rolls over barking at the mug. It's so funny to see.
If you had the choice to arrange a dinner party taking three people (choosing from any era, past or present), who would you choose?
Oh good question! Well firstly I'd invite Stephen Fry, he's the nicest most fascinating English man and a real sweethear.
Secondly I'd invite Michael Jackson, you'd have to invite someone who's died and I'd really like him to open up and be honest about his life.
Thirdly I'd have to have another woman, I love Victoria Wood or Catherine Tate, both hugely funny and they'd bring some humour to the table.
If you could sum it up, what do you think is the best thing about being a dog owner?
I quite like the sense of responsibility they give, I feel like a proper grown up now. I really like the fact I've given two dogs a home and am looking after them. There's so many stories of dogs who have been given up, or treated badly and then you look around on the internet and see more dogs being bred and you think who's going to give them a home? There's not enough homes to go around and it makes me feel glad to have given two homes the stable life they have here with us.
They have a nice life, they go to the park every day, they're well fed and loved.
One thing it has made me think is that I don't want children. Baxter and Kevin are my kids, they make me smile every day. They make me so happy, it sounds strange but I don't think I've had a down day since we had Baxter, there's something every day that they do that makes me laugh.
I love coming home and seeing them, saying hello, giving them a kiss. In fact I can be in the house for 30 minutes before Adam says 'am I getting a hello?'.
Finish the following sentence, my dogs are... the most wonderful dogs in the whole wide world.
And finally, this is always a tough question and often requires a fair degree of thinking time but….If Baxter and Kevin had the ability to speak and answer one question and one question only, what would you ask them and what do you think that they would say?
I'd like to ask Baxter what he thinks of Kevin and if he's happy he's here with us. When we first brought Kevin home I wasn't sure how it would go, I knew they got on at the park but that's different to living together, so the first week was really quite worrying. I would have loved to have been able to ask him what he thought of Kevin and if he was happy with us bringing him home with us.
Now, they get on so well and are the best of friends I think Baxter would say 'yes'.
I'd like to ask Kevin more about his background, where he lived before, if he had brothers and sister and if he was mistreated. If so I'd chase them down and give them a peace of my mind.
Many Thanks Kate!
Kate Lawler Was Speaking With Kim O'Meara
Follow Kate, Baxter & Kevin's adventures in our Pet Friendly Britain series as it continues next month!